Menashe, Tamar

Field: Middle Ages; Early Modern; Jewish; Advisor: Elisheva Carlebach, Adam Kosto; Year: 2014

Tamar Menashe works on late medieval and early modern European and Jewish history, especially in the German lands. Her research interests lie at the intersection among law, religion, gender, culture, and interfaith relations. In her dissertation, Tamar reconstructs Jews’ intensive pursuit of civil and religious rights before Germany’s Imperial Supreme Court in the context of the wide-ranging legal and religious reforms between 1500-1700. More broadly, her project examines the intersections among law, religion, and minority-state relations, and the legal cultures that minorities develop in the course of state-building processes. Her other scholarly interests include legal theory, human rights, and Sephardi communities in their Mediterranean and global contexts. Her doctoral research has been supported by (among others) the Renaissance Society of America, The German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the Central European History Society, The Posen Society of Fellows, DAAD, The Center for Jewish History, The Association for Jewish Studies, Columbia’s Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, and the IIJS.


Committed to studying historical and contemporary matters pertaining to law, religion, and minority rights, Tamar also held fellowships from the Cardozo Law School, from the Human Rights Honors Program at the Hebrew University Faculty of Law, and from the Berg Institute for Law and History at the Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she interned and volunteered at Physicians for Human Rights, researching inequality in health. Tamar has served as a teaching assistant for twelve courses on modern and premodern history and historical thinking at Columbia and the Hebrew University.


Tamar holds a BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the School of History Honors Program, History of the Jewish People, and German Studies (summa cum laude) and MA and MPhil degrees from Columbia. Prior to entering Columbia, Tamar continued her graduate studies in medieval and early modern Jewish history in the Hebrew University and the Master’s Program of the History of the Spanish Monarchy at the Complutense University of Madrid. She has also studied at programs of the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Vienna, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, and the Central European University.